Ah, random bags of dried peas and beans, where would we be without them? I mentioned this particular bag of split peas before when I wrote up our Spicy Thai Bean Burger recipe. It’s still there, haunting the cupboard, apparently not diminished in size at all, no matter how many recipes I create with it. Which is great, of course. Firstly because thrifty is the new black so I am waaaaaay on trend with my split peas (dahlink). Second, it means that I apparently have an endless supply of heart-healthy, protein rich, low calorie, low fat, mineral rich legumes. Pretty cool, huh?
Split peas are so good for you that WH Foods* describes them as ‘a small but nutritionally mighty member of the legume family’. What’s not to love?
I recently learned how to roast red peppers properly, without mess, fuss or hassle (am I late to the party on this one?) so I decide to create a soup with them in too. Plus, as I’m sure you know by know, we Veggie Runners love a bit of zing to our food so I added some curry spices to get the ping of the zing just right.
*A great not-for-profit site that provide information on healthy eating – really worth checking out.
Curried Split Pea and Roasted Red Pepper Soup
100g yellow split peas, soaked overnight
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, sliced finely
3 red peppers, roasted (instructions below)
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1-2 chilis, sliced finely
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon ground cumin (yes, a whole tablespoon)
1 litre vegetable stock
1 tablespoon good quality vegetable oil
1 First, roast the peppers. Cut in half and de-seed then place on a roasting tin (no oil) under a hot grill. Check frequently, turning occasionally. They’ll burn a bit and blister – this is good. When the skin is largely blackened and the peppers are softening, remove from the heat. Leave to cool for a few minutes until the roasting tin is cool enough to hold cling film (saran wrap). Spread the cling film over the top of the dish and leave to one side while the peppers cool. When you take the cling film off, the skin of the peppers should peel away easily.
2 While the peppers are cooling, gently fry the onions and garlic in the oil for about 5 minutes, until the onions start to soften.
3 Crush the fenugreek seeds in a mortar and pestle (or buzz briefly with a stick blender). Roast the seeds for a couple of minutes in dry pan and set to one side.
4 Add the fenugreek seeds, chilis, turmeric and ground cumin to the garlic and onions. Fry for 2 minutes to get rid of the grittiness from the spices. Add a little more oil if necessary.
5 Add the yellow split peas and vegetable stock. Stir well, bring to a rapid boil then reduce the heat so that the soup bubbles gently. Simmer like this for 35-45 minutes (depends how hard the split peas were to start with).
6 When the split peas are soft (they’ll still have a bit of ‘bite’ to them but shouldn’t be crunchy), remove from the heat and buzz in a food processor or with a stick blender. Blend until the soup thickens but leave some texture to it – it doesn’t need to be smooth.
7 Return the soup to the pan. Finely slice the red peppers and add these. Heat the soup thoroughly and serve.